Monday, August 15, 2011

Tillicum Vilage and Blake Island

For thousands of years Blake Island was an ancestral summer camping ground to Coast Salish tribes who lived on the coastal waterways of Puget Sound. The native tribes as a group are also referred to as the Lushootseed peoples.  (Lushootseed refers to the common language that was spoken throughout the region.) The heart of the island is Tillicum Village. Tillicum Village was built on 5 acres of the 475-acre state park and opened in 1962. Today, the Island has thousands of visitors who come to Tillicum for the world famous salmon bake and show or to camp, hike and explore the vast wildlife and beautiful beaches of this fascinating island.

The only way to reach the island is by boat, so we took the Argosy Tours boat that includes a traditional salmon bake and native entertainment. It's about a four hour trip and there is plenty of time after the dinner and entertainment for a little island exploring.

Land Ho!

It took about 45 minutes by boat, but there was a bar on-board, so no worries! Great Bloody Mary. When we arrived at the village, we were greeted by natives in traditional dress and bowls of fresh steamed clams, yummy.  We then had a few minutes to explore the long house. There were great exhibits of Salish artwork and ceremonial masks.

There was also a large area of open fires where the salmon was cooked in the traditional way. Over an alderwood fire. I have to say it was delicious. It was now time to enter the dining room for dinner and the show. There was great Salish story telling and dancers. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside. After dinner and the show, we had time to explore the island before returning to Seattle.  Quite a beautiful place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

A great park and camping area as well as a tourist attraction.
After we arrived back at the Seattle waterfront, we decided that it was still early enough to make a trip a few blocks up the hill and take in Pike Place Market. No trip to Seattle is complete without the market on your itinerary, and we had not yet taken Alex.

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